Integrative Health Blog

Health Tips for the Fall Season from Chinese Medicine

Posted by admin on Wed, Nov 11, 2015


Fall brings harvest time, the beauty of the changing leaves, and less daylight. In Chinese medicine, fall is associated with the element of metal and the lungs. It is a time to slow down, go to bed early, regroup and begin to move and think inward in preparation for winter.

Staying Healthy with Changing Weather

With the change to cooler weather comes your body’s attempt to cope with cold mornings, warm afternoons and even colder evenings.  Wild fluctuations in temperature tend to be giant stressors on the system and as such, this is the time of year when we see many colds and flu.  Is there a way to prevent these seasonal health missteps?  Of course!  Chinese medicine quite literally works on the idea of prevention.  When you come in for an appointment we feel your pulse and see where there are imbalances in the body.  Based on these imbalances, which around this time of year tend to be the lung and large intestine (metal element organs), we can treat to prevent ailments in these organ systems. 

Colds and flu have been written about in classical texts for over 3500 years.  Hence, Chinese medicine  practitioners are good at treating them. 

Health Tips for the Fall Season

1. Wear a scarf.  

According to our philosophy, the back of the neck is the gate where wind and cold tend to invade.  Protect your neck. 

2. Tend to your lungs and large intestine: eat seasonally (and locally if possible). 

Root vegetables, dark leafy greens, hearty stews with garlic, shallots, and onions, squashes, grapes, and pomegranates.  Feed your lungs with deep cleansing breaths and moderate exercise.  Wake up early and go for a 15 minute walk.  Taste the morning air and draw deeply for a cleansing breath of a life lived in the city.  Imagine you are breathing in pure light that cleanses and purifies your lungs and as you exhale imagine all of that blackness leaving your lungs.  As the Daoists would say; Tu Gu Na Xing- Spit out the old and inhale the new. 

3. Drink more water. 

Water is a most frequently prescribed medicine.  Drink water to specifically enable the cleansing of your large intestine (If there is no water, the “boat” won’t float), and lungs.  The lungs need fluids to expel toxins and to enable proper deep breathing. 

4. Consider acupuncture and Chinese medicine. 

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are helpful for both prevention and treatment of illness.

“In Autumn, the wind is vigorous and rapid, the environment on earth is clear and bright, so during this period, one should go to bed early to stay away from the chilliness, get up early to appreciate the crisp air of autumn, keep the spirit tranquil and stable to separate oneself from the sough of autumn by means of restraining the spirit and energy internally and guard the mind against anxiety and impetuosity.” -Shang Han Lun

Enjoy the fall season and keep your body in tune with the harmony of nature. 

Call 202-237-7000 to schedule, or use the online form.

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Dr. Peter Jun Wu CMD, LAc
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Topics: chinese medicine, acupuncture